The Birth of a Mother: My Story

Since it’s Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week, I thought I would go back into the Checks and Spots archives and share a post I wrote back in 2012.

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This photo was taken almost four years ago, just moments after I became a mother for the first time. In the following weeks and months I kept a journal…

 

I feel like such a fraud. Why am I not a natural mum?

 

I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that won’t leave. I can’t stop thinking about the enormity of becoming a parent. What have we done?


The strange mix of a day – driving in the car and my heart longs to just keep going further and further away from home. Then later in the evening when I’m bathing him, he looks so deeply into my eyes that tears prickle. I feel a depth of love like no other. How can these feelings coexist?

 

First night out and I meet the girls at a sweaty, underground bar in the city. I can’t focus on the conversation. I can’t engage. My heart just races with the strangest feeling as I straddle two versions of me – mother and the ‘old’ me.

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I found becoming a mother tough. Really tough. I had panic attacks, anxiety and insomnia. More than anything I wanted to look like I was coping. That I could do it all.

Everyone said that after 12 weeks it would all click into place. But after 12 weeks I was still battling. Battling to get my shit together. Battling to find the natural rhythm of parenting. Battling to keep the tears at bay.

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I never want to be the type of blogger that over shares, but as it is Perinatal Depression and Anxiety (PNDA) Awareness Week I want to tell my story.

Sometimes the birth of a parent is harder than the birth of a child. Sometimes it doesn’t come easily – and that’s ok. We need to be honest and frank. We need to talk more.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and in my case, I couldn’t have made it through the early days without my family and fella. After five months the fog started to lift and I wrote this:

 

Today is the first time that I feel like I can play this game and trust my instincts. Hand on my heart, I finally mean it when I say, this is the BEST thing I have ever done.

xx

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If you or anyone you know is struggling with perinatal anxiety or depression, call PANDA’s free National Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Helpline (1300 726 306). The service offers counselling, information and referral services with ongoing telephone support for families throughout Australia. The helpline operates Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm EST. Visit www.panda.org.au for more information and useful resources.
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